Tokio Marine & Fire Insurance Co. Ltd. reported that net profits grew 41 percent to 43.14 billion yen ($352 million) for the period March 2000/2001, despite the continuing economic slump affecting the Japanese economy.
A strong upsurge in automobile policy sales and entry into new markets, such as nursing care insurance, propelled the growth the company indicated . It also stands to profit further from its high profile as Japan’s largest p/c insurer, its stable financial condition, and the planned merger next year with three smaller companies, which will increase its market share.
Nevertheless overall earnings prospects for Japanese insurers remain depressed in the face of stagnant economic growth, deregulation pressures which have lowered premiums due to increased competition, falling equity values, and near-zero interest rates. Analysts are certain that further consolidation of the market must occur before the industry returns to profitability.
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